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My first experience with external USB hard drive enclosures was with Windows 98SE. At that time, drives were IDE, not SATA, and I remember that after drivers were installed (I remember using one enclosure with GeneSys chipset,and another with ALI both with the same design), the internal USB2.0 to IDE bridge card inside the enclosure would present itself to the OS as another IDE port, with whatever hard drive (or optical device) connected to it "hanging from it" in the Windows Device Manager.

When I migrated to XP, I dont remember ever looking at such drives in the Windows Device Manager, the enclosures "just worked". I do remember, however, XP detecting the "GeneSys USB2.0 to IDE adapter", configuring its drivers, and then it immediatelly detect a new hard disk and configure it.

Fast forward to 2013, Win7 SP1 and "USB 3.0 TO SATA" adapters inside external enclosures. For some reason, and here lies my question, the ASMEDIA USB3.0 to SATA adapter chip seems to present itself NOT as a SATA controller hangung on the USB3.0 bus, but rather as a MASS STORAGE DEVICE.

This, of course, has some benefits but also some unintended drawbacks, from the software POV.

Having access to a single version of such enclosures I'd like to know: IS THIS BEHAVIOUR (masking AS USB MASS STORAGE DEVICE) THE NORM ON ALL USB3.0 TO SATA CONTROLLERS? OR JUST ASMEDIA CHIPSETS? Ideally I'd like to buy one such device that presents itself as a new SATA controller to the system, rather than inquiring drive geometry and then presenting itself as a USB MASS STORAGE DEVICE.

I know that besides ASMEDIA there are other USB3.0 TO SATA controller chips like VIA VL700, and others from GeneSys and LUCIDPORT chipsets... any of these behave one way, or the other?

Sorry for the length of this question, I hope I have made myself clear...

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This is the first time I've heard of showing as USB mass storage with 3.0 so I would assume it is that specific one. – user88311 Jun 28 '13 at 18:25
This really depends on the chipset the adapter uses. I wouldn't use the word "all" to describe what you have witness so far. – Ramhound Jun 28 '13 at 18:46

Yes. Any "reinterpretation" of the adapter as another drive adapter is dependent on the operating system and its drivers. The reason you noticed a difference under Windows 98 is that Windows 98 did not natively/generically support UMS.

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